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Rank: 103

University of California-Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, CAhttps://www.ucsc.edu/
Imagine going to school on a 2,000-acre ranch. It might be a lot like attending UC Santa Cruz, where the campus was once a timber ranch and limestone mine. Students take classes among redwood trees and party on the sprawling meadows overlooking Monterey Bay. The more than 17,000 undergrads at this public research university live in a veritable nature bubble an hour and a half from San Francisco. Although the campus is huge, all UC Santa Cruz undergrads belong to one of 10 residential colleges, fostering a smaller community feel. Sports don't play a major role on campus, although there are plenty of intramural and varsity teams, including ones for inner-tube water polo and wallyball (similar to volleyball). The school's unusual but beloved mascot is the Banana Slug. Greek life exists, but fraternities and sororities don't have campus houses. The very diverse student body has about 150 organizations to choose from, among them Slugs for Solar and the Slugs Fund Investment Group. UC Santa Cruz has a graduation rate of about 77%, according to MONEY's calculations, which is nearly 20% higher than at schools with comparable student populations. Recent grads report an average salary of $56,100 to PayScale -- 10% higher than their peers who graduated from similar schools.
costs
Est. Full Price 2019-2020
$37,600
% of students who get any grants
69%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$17,900
Average price for low-income students
$10,570
admissions
Acceptance rate
51%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1250/29
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
17,577
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
94%
% of need met
84%
% of students who get merit* grants
8%
Average merit grant
$5,392
student success
Graduation rate
77%
Average time to a degree
4.4 years
Average student debt
$19,700
Average salary within 3 years
$56,100
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
38%
key deadlines
Early decision application
N/A
Regular application
Nov 30

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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